promises `greenbelt' for GTA
pledge to beef up police `We are rolling out our platform early'
QUEEN'S PARK BUREAU
Liberals promise to establish thousands of hectares of green space from
Niagara Falls to the Oak Ridges Moraine, where they would stop plans
to build 6,600 more homes, as part of detailed election commitments
contained in a 29-page booklet that deals with justice issues, the environment,
transit, housing and urban sprawl, carry an estimated price tag of almost
are rolling out our platform early because we think it's important to
spell out where we stand on the issues that are important to Ontario
families," Liberal Leader Dalton McGuinty told reporters.
said he would get the money from cancelling the Tories' private-school
tax credit and killing a $2.2 billion corporate tax cut, among other
next provincial election coming as early as spring, McGuinty appears
to have learned from former Tory premier Mike Harris' success in the
run-up to the 1995 election when he unveiled the Common Sense Revolution.
The Liberals have already released their plans for education with a
price tag of $1.6 billion.
McGuinty said the Liberals would fund the hiring of 1,000 new police
officers, 100 new probation and parole officers, and more crown attorneys,
and put deadbeat parents' pictures on a Web site.
governments have for too long given the "green light on projects
that chew up precious green space, projects that erode the quality of
life in our communities.
highlight of our plan will be a permanent greenbelt around the GTA and
the Golden Horseshoe. This greenbelt will permanently protect more than
600,000 acres (240,000 hectares) of green space I'm talking about
environmentally sensitive land and farmland and it's going to extend
all the way from Niagara Falls to Lake Scugog (in Durham Region),"
greenbelt will also act to help us focus development where it belongs,
easing gridlock and fighting sprawl."
with, McGuinty said, a Liberal government would pass legislation giving
"ironclad" protection to the Oak Ridges Moraine. "That
means putting a stop to the 6,600 homes which are scheduled for construction
on the moraine, adjacent to Richmond Hill. I will not allow that construction
to proceed," he said.
Baeremaeker, of Save the Rouge, applauded the announcement, saying the
Tory government "misled" environmentalists when it said there
would be no more housing.
will include the Niagara Escarpment, the moraine and new areas, including
the Dufferin-Rouge Agricultural Preserve and the Bronte Creek Provincial